Health Information Technology for Rural Hospitals

Why is this a public health priority?

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report To Err is Human (1999) focused on patient safety and healthcare quality. The report estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths result from medical errors annually and an estimated $17-$29 billion is spent on such errors (IOM, 1999). The adoption of healthcare information technology (HIT) has been identified as the key driver for improving rural healthcare quality and safety. (MedPAC, 2006; IOM, 2005; Hillestad et al., 2005). HIT refers to “a wide range of clinical, operational, and strategic systems used in hospitals, such as electronic health records (EHR), computerized physician order entry (CPOE), and patient billing systems” (MedPAC, 2006).

What is the role of SCPHI in addressing this priority?

SCPHI Associate Director for Special Projects produced a fact sheet on the importance, current use, challenges to adoption, and strategies to encourage adoption of health information technology for South Carolina’s 14th Annual Rural Health Conference.

The full document is available here.

Who are SCPHI’s key partners in this effort?

South Carolina Office of Rural Health


Institute of Medicine Committee on Quality of Health Care in America. (1999). To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington DC: National Academy Press.

Institute of Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). (2006). Report to the Congress: Medicare Payment Policy. Washington DC: MedPAC.

Institute of Medicine Committee on the Future of Rural Health Care Quality. (2005). Quality through Collaboration: The Future of Rural Health Care. Washington DC: National Academy Press.

Hillestad, R., Bigelow, J., Bower, A., Girosi, F., Meili, R., Scoville, R., et al. (2005). Can electronic medical record systems transform health care? Potential health benefits, savings, and costs. Health Affairs, 24(5): 1103-1117.

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